Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Returns Review
The Final Fantasy series has been around since 1987, and it shows no signs of slowing down. The latest entry in the franchise is Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII-2 that takes place 500 years after the events of its predecessor. Does this new entry in the series live up to its predecessors? Let's take a look:
The story of Lightning Returns is set 500 years after the events of Final Fantasy XIII-2. In this time, Serah and Noel have been dead for a thousand years, and Snow has gone back to Valhalla to be with his wife. On top of that, it's been so long since you last saw Lightning that she doesn't remember who you are or what your relationship is. You'll spend most of your time interacting with her in various ways throughout the game as she discovers who you are and tries to get home.
While there are other characters involved in Lightning's journey—including Hope—your interactions with them serve only as an excuse for progressing through the game's narrative without anyone else giving you any information about how things work within this world (or what happened between then and now). It feels like Square Enix wanted to keep their options open because they didn't want their heroes locked into one specific storyline; having multiple endings would allow them more freedom if they decide that another game needs more content later on down the line.
Gameplay is where Lightning Returns really shines. It's fun, easy to learn and fast-paced. The combat system has been simplified once again (who needs HP anyway?), so you'll be hitting buttons like mad in order to get the best scores for your team. I was able to get through most of the game without dying once, though there were times when I had to restart because I'd gotten into a bad situation with no chance of recovery due to my own poor decisions or lack of preparation.
The linearity of gameplay doesn't bother me much since it kept me focused on the main story at hand rather than wandering off doing side quests that probably wouldn't have amounted to much anyway (was anyone else bothered by how useless the side quests were?). While some may find this lack of freedom off-putting, if you're playing through this game solely because you want more Final Fantasy XIII content then don't worry about it too much—you'll still have plenty of time spent doing battle with monsters while listening to Lightning talk smack about them!
In terms of replayability: I've played through this whole game twice now myself and plan on going through it again sometime soon just because it's so much fun!
Combat in Lightning Returns is fun, fast-paced and easy to learn. The controls are tight and responsive, so you'll never have to worry about your character awkwardly twirling their sword or standing around waiting for an attack command.
Sometimes it can be hard to master though—especially when you're fighting multiple enemies at once or taking on a boss that has some special abilities like casting spells or poisoning you. But if you master the basics of combat—which I think most people will after playing through the game once—you'll find yourself enjoying yourself each time there's a battle on screen because of how rewarding it feels when you win!
The graphics are great, with a high level of detail. The audio is great, with an epic soundtrack that's best enjoyed by turning off all your lights and turning up your speakers. The voice acting and sound effects are also great.
The game runs at 60 fps on the PS4 and Xbox One, with the exception of some occasional drops during cutscenes.
Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Returns is a fun game that has more to it than what meets the eye.
The Final Fantasy XIII series has always been a fan favorite, and it's easy to see why. The game play is interesting and addictive, the story is engaging and well told, the character designs are interesting and very well done, the visuals are stunningly beautiful.
But what makes this series stand out above all others is its amazing soundtrack! The soundtrack for each game has been composed by renowned composer Masashi Hamauzu (Final Fantasy XIII-2), Hiroyuki Nakayama (Final Fantasy XIII) and Ryo Yamazaki (Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns). These musical compositions have brought together an eclectic group of musicians from around the world: Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts), Nobuo Uematsu (Dragon Quest), Joe Henson & Michael Salvatori (Mass Effect 2 & 3), Motoi Sakuraba (Star Ocean 4) and many more!
Overall, this game is a fun one to play. It’s filled with awesome characters, epic fights and an amazing storyline. Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Returns may not be the best Final Fantasy game out there, but it’s still worth checking out if you love RPGs or action games!